Podiatry in the Military

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I don't claim to have all the answers, and recommend that you verify stuff through a recruiter.

I'm not sure about the age limits. In general the Army wants enlistees to be under 35, and similar for officers, though there are a number of waivers. Prior service, advanced degrees, etc are usually reasons to add time. I would easily believe 40 to be OK.

In order to apply to the military residencies, you must also apply for a direct commission. In the Army, podiatry residents are commissioned as Captains in the Medical Service Corps. You do not go to Basic Training (that is for enlisted soldiers). You do not go to OCS (Officer Candidate School), this is a track for enlisted soldiers to advance into the officers ranks. You do go to OBC (Officer Basic Course) at Fort Sam Houston, TX. I believe this is a 4 month course, and the residency training actually starts in November rather than July.

You may notice that there are 2 Army Residency programs currently listed, at Womack and Eisenhower. You may also notice some differences in the pay listed. They really pay the same. One of them included the housing allowance in the total, the other did not. Pay may actually vary depending on a number of things. Eg. a married person will have a slightly higher housing allowance. A person will prior service will make a little more, since they will already have some longevity. (Pay is based on grade and years of service.)

Many new podiatrists coming in have a hard time with student loans. Unlike MDs or DOs, there are not any loan repayment programs. (The Navy recently started one, but I don't think you would be eligible until after your initial commitment is over.) Your pay of roughly $40K as a resident will not increase much after residency. You will have a couple more years of service, but otherwise do not expect an increase. Promotion to Major might be in 4-8 years. I think some of the residents I spoke with had their loans in deferment. I don't know if they would be able to defer them after residency though. I'm not sure, but I think a majority leave the military after their commitment is completed. Right now, that is a 3 year obligation in exchange for the 2 years of residency for a total period of 5 years of service. (I don't know how this will change if they do move to a PSR24+ status. I suspect they will go to a 4 year obligation in return for 3 years of residency for a total of 7 years in service. This is similar to current and past deals. 2 years for the first year, then 1 for each additional year.) This may not be the best deal around, and can vary depending on your individual circumstances. Look very carefully before jumping into it.

You'll have to work out the numbers for civilian residencies and expected salaries for comparison on your own. There are too many variables to make an easy comparison to any individuals circumstances.

Hope this helps a bit.


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Aug 14, 2002
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Forgot to say thanx for this info. You know your military stuff! I was thinking about the ARMY for a always there job in case I can't get a job out here in the real word or can't get a good residency. You can always count on Uncle Sam. I was thinking that u could always put your loans in the Direct Loan consolidation where it is based on your income. So, that would drop payment down to $500 per month based on $150,000 in loans and a $42,000 salary. Spend 20 years in Army, hopefuly gain Colonel rank(Is that good pay + 20 years service?) then u would only have 5 years left of the consolidation then it is dropped. I know it counts as income the year it is dropped so u would have to pay income taxes that year for the amount waived, so don't start yelling guys this only means that u go from owing student loans to owing taxes. After 20 years of service u get %50 of your income the rest of your life! Man that sounds good!